Saturday, July 22, 2017

A cool Humboldt Fog rolls in. . . . . . . . .

Doing all we can to stay cool here in central North Carolina as the weather continues 
to heat up. End of week became dangerously hot with the actual temperature
 hovering at 100F yesterday and will continue over most of the weekend. 
The heat index will make it feel more like 110F and could be life threatening for
 those who don't take care! 
We know to stay out of the sun, in air conditioned spaces, drink plenty of water, and 
not do stupid things such as mowing lawns, pulling weeds, jogging - or even
 walking far outdoors!

Northern California coast - Trinidad, Humboldt County 2016

I've shared these foggy coastal photos before but couldn't resist displaying
 them again as they are so refreshing on these hot days.

San Carlos, CA wine bar - perfect cheese plate with
 fresh bread, apricots, honey and chutney, and great
 cheese choices.

So what should we eat in 100+ degrees?
Always looking for hot stove alternatives in oppressive, steamy weather.
Salads of course are always good. Chilled soups such as the cucumber gazpacho
 we've enjoyed lately - and luckily I've several pouches in my freezer as I made so
 much last week. . . . . . . . and how about cheese plates! 
I love cheese in any shape or form. When in California last year, wine
tasting also meant cheese tasting, and did we ever get some fabulous 
offerings both at wineries and restaurants!

High end wine tasting in Napa - the way to go!

After hot, sunny weather in and around Napa and Sonoma, it rained heavily
 for our visit to Northern California, but it was so beautiful and allowed for
 some mysterious looking photos of the coastline bathed in fog with crashing
 waves. . . . . . . . and the discovery of what has become one of my most
 favorite cheeses ever. . . . . . . . . . . 

. . . . . .Humboldt Fog - a soft-ripened goat cheese made in Arcata, CA.
 Winner of many awards both in the US and internationally,
with just four ingredients, pasteurized cultured goat milk, salt, enzymes 
and vegetable ash, this is a remarkable cheese. . . . . . and all can be
eaten including the rind and ash.

 Each handcrafted one pound mini wheel features, per the maker Cypress Grove
"a distinctive ribbon of edible vegetable ash, buttermilk and fresh cream,
 complemented with floral notes, herbaceous overtones, and a clean citrus finish.
 As Humboldt Fog matures, the creaminess develops and the flavor intensifies."

Yes, on these hotter than you know what days, I'll be prepared when it 
comes to eating and drinking. A somewhat expensive cheese, but Costco stores
 are offering Humboldt Fog mini wheels at an excellent price.

What to drink with this cheese?
While the cheese is young, a chilled
 Sauvignon Blanc - my always favorite white - or a demi-sec sparkling wine, 
is suggested. When ripe, a Pinot Grigio, Rosé (my summer drink), Vouvray,
 or a sweet sherry. When mature, a Zinfandel or Pinot Noir may be best.
If you prefer a thirst-quenching cold beer, the maker suggests wheat beer, 
IPA or Porter with a young cheese, pale ale
 with ripe, and IPA or Stout when the cheese has matured.

Do you have a favorite cheese?
I'm admitting to being a cheese-aholic. . . . . . . how
 about you?

The weekend's here again already - 
have a great one.


  1. I'm a cheese-aholic, too, and Humboldt's Fog looks great!
    But... seeing as people keep to air-conditioned spaces in this weather, why don't they just eat what they always eat? I mean, why the need for salads etc. when they keep to an environment with very moderate temperatures anyway? I love my salads all year round, by the way :-)

    1. Even with central a/c in the house it can get uncomfortable in the kitchen with the burners or oven kept busy! Just making easy meals not requiring a lot of baking, roasting, boiling is always good - and yes, I'm with you, salads year round are great!
      Of course we also have an outside grill but it's murder out there with heat AND mosquitoes to contend with, so I just can't handle grilling in this weather!
      Mary -

  2. Another cheese-aholic here Mary, and would love to try the Humboldt Fog Cheese.
    My favourite is Cornish Yarg - a cheddar that is wrapped in dandelion leaves and left to mature until the leaves form a thin moldy but edible crust. It comes from a c17th recipe discovered in an attic on Bodmin Moor found by a Mr. Gray - hence the name Yarg = Gray backwards.

    1. I'm certain you would love that goat cheese Rosemary!
      Never have heard of Cornish Yarg but is sounds awesome - not much can beat a good cheddar. With a thin moldy leaf crust, and the Bodmin Moor story, that must be a real conversation piece at a wine and cheese gathering!!!
      I'll look for it when next home for a visit!
      Thanks, Mary -

  3. Love the photographs Mary ..... and the cheese { of course !! } There's nothing better than food and drink !! XXXX

    1. I agree Jackie, nothing beats good, nourishing, nutritious food alongside a refreshing drink. . . . . mine is rosé right now. . . . . or even a good cup of tea or morning mug of coffee!
      Mary -

  4. Ohhh that heat! It's been difficult to get our homes cooled off after several days of 85 to 90 degree weather. None of us have central air so it's a challenge. Lovely food photography!

    1. Hot your way too Vee! Bob coming up to NH tomorrow - but I think it will be cooling off somewhat - he's digging out a jacket to pack!
      Mary -

  5. Dear Mary, hot days here as well. Yesterday, it rained for the first time in 3 months.
    My favorite cheese? A well aged blue cheese eaten with a very ripe and sweet pear.
    Just looking at your "cool" photographs promises a cooler day.

    1. Gina, goodness gracious, 3 months with no rain sounds crazy to those of us who have rain so often! Did you run outside to feel it on your face? I know your flowers will be happy too.
      I love any type of blue cheese too, Stilton perhaps being my favorite having 'grown up with it' in England. My grandfather's pub always put out a huge complimentary wheel of it on the bar counter for Christmas - customers could just dig in and enjoy with their drinks! Pears are wonderful alongside Stilton. I also love a soft blue such as Castello for serving with good hearty grain crackers.
      Enjoy a splash in the rain dear. Bet your pond is fresh and pretty.
      Mary x

  6. Sounds like the perfect meal Mary and with enough wine, who notices the heat? I love cheese too and I'll try it though I might not try it again. Martha Stewart said hers is a mimmoletta. I tried the aged and it was just too dry. Tried the young and it was better. I'm happy you found the Humboldt cheese at your home. It always is a little intimidating at the cheese counters. And, the pictures were wonderful on these hot hot days.

    1. French Mimolette does not sound or look enticing to me Donna. Cheese mites and orange color both put me off BUT of course I too would at least try a bite before saying "no way". After all, a cheese-aholic cannot say no to a cheese, right? I must ask my brother in France if they eat that one and if it's a popular cheese.
      Stay cool and calm in the summer heat.
      Mary -

  7. Olá, partilha o que penso a refeição leve e perfeita, nos dias de muito calor é necessário tomar providencia para evitar o mesmo, o calor causa problemas de saúde que até pode ser de gravidade, apreciei muito as fotos da costa norte da Califórnia, o mar é belo.
    Feliz fim de semana,

    1. Thank you Antonio - glad you enjoyed the photos - Northern California is very beautiful both along the coast and the interior where the giant redwood trees grow.
      Happy Sunday to you in Banyoles. I've been to Girona which I know not far from you! Love Spain, the food, the wine, and of course the beautiful people!
      Mary -

    2. Antonio, I'm going crazy, the heat perhaps, or just getting old!!! You aren't in Spain (that was another new visitor), you're in Portugal of course - another beautiful country I loved visiting! Sorry I got mixed up here when I was trying to translate in Portuguese rather than Spanish!
      Mary -

  8. Your favorite cheese looks like your design style Mary; creams and browns. It looks delicious and I will be on the look out for it. My favorite rosé during summer would be a Bandol from the coast of France which is kind of hard to find. But Total Wine has an inexpensive French Rosé called "What you see is what you get". We like it. Stay cool. It is hot at the lake too.
    Hugs, Penny

  9. Definitely heating up here in Austin. Today, more than ever, I've felt the heat. I walk early in the morning, and then we walk again late evening. So far, it hasn't been too uncomfortable. Things in the garden are beginning to stress, but that's to be expected.

  10. This is a great time to bring out your photos of Northern California, Mary. We are in a wave of heat, humidity and storms passing through every evening. Hopefully August will be a cooler month.

    I, too, love cheeses, and goat cheese is a favorite. I will check out Costco for the Humboldt Fog. It looks delicious. I've always been big on snacking on cheese but I took a break from dairy just to see if any of my troubles would go away. Not much change so I'm back with the cheese and I'm fortunate it has very few carbs. I'm a white wine fan, and I really enjoy Pinot Grigio for it's fruity, sparkling taste. At the lake I like to sip a bellini in the late afternoon or prosecco poured over lemon sorbet. I'm not a fan of Whiskey, vodka, rum...erc.

    Try to stay cool. Love to you and Bob.

    Jane xxx

  11. I love cheese, but try not teat too much of it. I'm also not much of a fan of goat cheese, though I do love feta. My husband is the cheese-a-holic. Hopefully your weather will cool off soon. Even the 80's would be nice instead of 100, right? I know it's hard to figure out what to eat or fix for meals when it's so hot. No one wants to turn on the stove, that's for sure.

  12. Humboldt Fog is such an evocative name for cheese. I'd eat it just because of the way it sounds, but also because your photos show it off to perfection. I like white wine, like a Sauvignon Blanc, with cheese - very cold. I'm sorry for the extreme heat you're enduring; here we are putzing along with normal, or lower than normal temperatures. Pleasant, although I'm wearing a light sweater today and we don't have air conditioning.

  13. I thought I had seen some of these photos before. Yes, beautiful area and wonderful samplings too!


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